Ireland’s immigrant investor scheme witnessed a large increase in applications in 2016, with 329 applicants from 16 countries applying for residency by investment in the country. Approximately 313 were from China, according to figures from the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service.
Ireland Investment Immigration Programs Overview
Ireland distinguishes itself as being one of the most open economies in the world, highly ranked as one of the top countries for doing business in Europe and for its liberal tax regime. The country’s Immigrant Investor Program is available to high net worth individuals and their families outside the European Economic Area and has a pathway for citizenship. The investment must fall into one of the following four categories: enterprise investment, investment fund, real estate investment trusts or endowment.
Enterprise Investment requires a minimum investment of 1 million euros in a new or existing Irish business for a duration of at least 3 years. Investment Fund requires a minimum investment of 1 million euros in an approved investment fund for at least 3 years, in an Irish registered company not quoted on a stock exchange. Real Estate Investment Trusts requires a 2 million euros investment for a period of 3 to 5 years in any Irish Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) listed on the Irish Stock Exchange, an investment which may be spread across different REITs. Endowment requires a donation of 500,000 euros to a project of public benefit to the arts, sports, health, culture or education in Ireland.
Applicants must demonstrate a 2 million euros net worth. Irish residency is granted for two years, which can be renewed for three years. Residing in Ireland is not required but investors must visit once per year. Family members will be able to work, study or establish a business in Ireland as well. It takes a minimum 4 months to get a visa.
Although Ireland does not offer a CBI program, successful residency applicants can obtain citizenship – and a well-regarded EU passport – after living five of the last 9 years in Ireland. Investors need to have been physically a resident in Ireland for the last 12 months to apply for naturalization. Benefits of citizenship is free travel from one EU country to another without obtaining a visa.
Ireland’s Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) is open to non-EEA nationals investing in Ireland at a minimum of 1 million euros with a three-year commitment. The investment must be from the applicant’s own resources and not through a loan or other means. Applicants must demonstrate a 2 million euros net worth.
How To Apply
There are set times when applications are accepted, which can be found on the Irish Naturalization and Immigration Service website. The process from application to residency typically takes four months. Applicant must provide evidence of source of funds/assets for the intended investment.
Passport holders have visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 173 countries around the world.
With a pro-business atmosphere and low corporate tax rate of 12.5 percent, Ireland boasts a welcoming environment for investors. Forbes named Ireland one of the best countries in the world to do business. Ireland has high standards of living, low unemployment and low crime rates.